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Vancouver Family Law Blog

Considerations for dividing up the house in a divorce

Washington residents who are in the midst of a divorce or have yet to legalize a separation may be susceptible to encountering several hardships in the short- and long-term future when it comes to deciding what happens to the marital home. Credit advisers say that one of the easiest ways to avoid potential problems is to provide lenders with enough documentation to help clear up any discrepancies that arise in the loan process.

People who are not vigilant in establishing legal separation during the divorce process may suffer adverse effects to their personal credit and may face difficulties securing a future loan as well. Creditors might still consider both parties jointly liable for a property if a divorce has not been finalized regardless of who is currently in possession of the home. In order to sign a mortgage for a new house before the divorce is finalized, the ex-spouse's signature is typically needed on a quitclaim deed.

Social media used against those who do not pay child support

Single parents in Washington might have trouble paying bills and supporting a child if they are not getting court-ordered monthly payments from the other parent, and social media websites are now helping investigators find people who fail to pay child support despite having enough funds to do so. The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office uses Facebook, Instagram and other social media websites to gather evidence about those who are delinquent on child support payments. Those who lack the funds to make payments are not in trouble, but it is a crime to deliberately skip at least four months of payment. Those who chose not to pay when they are able could face felony charges.

Investigators might use videos, pictures and status updates to help determine whether a parent has enough finances to pay child support. In some documented cases, parents have allegedly bought a car, has plastic surgery, posed with stacks of money, posted about having a job and more while failing to pay child support.

Beyonce's father involved in paternity suit

Washington readers who follow celebrity news may be interested to know that Mathew Knowles, father of pop singer Beyonce, has been named in a second paternity suit. This time it's a 30-year-old Houston woman who claims Knowles is the father of her daughter. The woman is asking for child support and legal fees.

In 2010, an actress filed the first paternity suit against Knowles. She claimed Knowles was the father of her son, and he later acknowledged the allegation was true. He was ordered to pay $12,000 per month in child support, but the amount was later reduced to $2,485 because Knowles's income had taken a significant drop. This first affair is thought by many to have ended Knowles 30-year marriage.

Ensuring a secure retirement after a divorce

Increasingly, older couples in Washington and throughout the country are seeking divorces. The phenomenon known as "gray divorce" refers to people over 50 who are divorcing after years of marriage. Because these happen later in life, it becomes particularly important for individuals to safeguard the assets that will see them through their retirement. There are a number of mistakes people sometimes make that prevent this. Many individuals do not realize that money in retirement accounts accumulated after marriage is usually considered joint property.

One error an individual may make is taking the house rather than a share of the retirement account. A better solution is to sell the house and split the proceeds. A house's value is unpredictable, and upkeep may become expensive.

Wife to pay husband's attorneys' fees

Residents of Washington may be interested in a recent news article that highlighted the divorce of the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The ruling, filed tentatively on June 24 by a Superior Court judge, states that the wife must pay the husband's legal fees, and those fees add up to about $1.9 million. The decision will become final unless objections are filed by the wife's attorneys within 15 days of the verdict.

The legal fees stem from opposing the wife's attempt to contest the terms of the former couple's divorce settlement. During the proceedings, she suggested that the husband undervalued the Major League Baseball team in divorce negotiations and then sold it for almost $2 billion. The woman received $131 million and several luxury homes in the initial divorce agreement, which had been finalized in 2012 after they had been married for nearly 30 years.

NBA star asks for sole custody of daughter

In a case that Washington family advocates are following closely, basketball superstar Paul George is undergoing a paternity test to see if he is the father of a young child and will request sole custody if the results are positive. The mother, who is from New York City, originally asked for sole custody and claimed the NBA player's travel schedule was a negative factor.

However, George countered with a list of his own reasons for demanding sole custody. First, he is financially capable of offering full parental involvement to the child. Second, he believes he is the best person to make the practical daily decisions that will impact her. Finally, the mother is not working or actively looking for employment and relies on others to help with her daughter. His motion does allow some shared parenting time. The lawyer for the mother characterized George's comments as insulting, especially regarding her failure to work since the baby is just two months old.

Deployed sailor ordered to show up in court

A judge has ordered a sailor from Washington to attend a child custody hearing in Michigan despite the fact that he is currently serving on board a Navy submarine in the Pacific Ocean. In addition, the judge has said she will issue a warrant for his arrest if he does not make it to the hearing because he will be in contempt of court.

The sailor has permanent custody of his 6-year-old daughter, and the child is being cared for by her stepmother in Washington state. Child protective services apparently removed the daughter from the care of her biological mother, and a judge gave the sailor full custody in 2010.

Pet custody issues for divorcing couples

Washington couples may be interested in an article discussing how courts deal with pet custody during divorces. When a pet-owning couple gets a divorce, the law generally lumps the pet in with other personal property during the asset division phase. This means that, legally, a pet is no different from a couch or an automobile. However, some courts are beginning to recognize the special place that a pet has and are finding that they belong somewhere in between common personal property and children.

Some judges take into consideration which of the spouses was the primary caretaker of the pet when granting custody. Generally, the spouse that does gain custody of is charged with paying the other spouse to offset the pet's value. The spouse that does not have custody often gets visitation rights as well.

How you can answer tough questions about divorce

If you are going through a divorce, and you have children, it is inevitable that they will have questions about what is going on. Children are naturally curious and thrive on routine. So when uncertainty creeps into their lives and their routines are broken, questions are certain to come.

Also, the concept of divorce is quite foreign to them. They may believe that mommy and daddy are simply fixtures in their lives, and that their parents should never leave. So when they don’t understand why things are staying the same, their questions can be difficult and utterly heartbreaking. However, there are ways to ease their fears.

How you can answer kids' difficult questions during divorce

If you are going through a divorce, and you have children, it is inevitable that they will have questions about what is going on. Children are naturally curious and thrive on routine. So when uncertainty creeps into their lives and their routines are broken, questions are certain to come.

Also, the concept of divorce is quite foreign to them. They may believe that mommy and daddy are simply fixtures in their lives, and that their parents should never leave. So when they don’t understand why things are staying the same, their questions can be difficult and utterly heartbreaking. However, there are ways to ease their fears.

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